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My name is Leeann. I'm an addict and I have been clean since 12/24/1982.

Created by Beulah Maher

My name is Leeann. I'm an addict and I have been clean since 12/24/1982.

My name is Leeann. I got clean on December 24, 1982.

I was twenty three and chronic alcoholic by the age of twenty one. I started drinking at age 17. The first time I drank, I blacked out and was sexually assaulted. I tried couple attempts at treatment. I drank and used codeine to avoid feelings and it allowed me to interact with others.

The problems with drugs and alcohol is it created problems and situations that I couldn't control. I drank with people I didn't like or wouldn't associate with when sober. I drank daily and would wreck my car and lost many jobs. I just walked off jobs. I was a chronic type of drinker and once I started, I didn't stop until I exhausted all options. I drank and used from age 17 1/2 to 23. I went to recovery support meetings and would have brief periods of abstinence.

Then in December 1982, I surrendered my addiction and started working 12 steps of recovery. It wasn't easy back then; most people getting clean were a lot older.?It was a miracle I made it to my first year, then two and next thing you know I've been clean 30 years.

I changed my life, my choices and my thinking. I accepted I was an addict and I couldn't use chemicals. I don't miss it anymore, the early years were hard. I made it harder on myself -- you have to change playgrounds, playmates and playthings.

I eventually became an addictions counselor and worked for 13 years. I turned my life around and helped others. I worked with criminal population and felt they were most difficult but was very rewarding. I still attend recovery support meetings. I have some friends today that I have had for at least 28 years. I learned that to keep my recovery I have to give back.

So if you don't think you can do it, just try for today.

One hour or one minute at a time. ?

It works when you work at it. Put as much effort into staying straight as you did at getting high. Ask others for help.?Good luck on the road to recovery.

This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

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